Thursday, July 14, 2011

Aegthil's guide to Tailoring

My Fool has noticed that there are a whole bunch of guides to various things in Middle Earth. Guides for this, for that, for whatever you want, really, but a lot of them are totally incomprehensible, and probably full of arrant nonsense.

He wanted to write a guide himself, telling people how to do stuff. I vetoed this idea, as my Fool is a fool, not to mention an ignoramus. He doesn't know anything about anything, so how could he possibly write a guide? Exactly. He can't. You know it, I know it.

So I told my Fool not to worry. I will write the guides for you, I said. Fortunately, I am extremely talented at many, many things, and so writing a guide is easy peasy for me.

I thought I would start with a guide to Tailoring, as this is a crafting profession that is often misunderstood.

Introduction: Tailors make stuff

This is not always obvious, but it's true. Tailors can make all kinds of cloaks and shoulder pads and armor and shoes and hats. That kind of thing. Once they get really good they can make plate armour from cotton cloth but I haven't quite reached the highest levels so the details are a mite hazy. It seems rather unlikely, but this information comes from a reliable source.


Tailors use special tools, called Tailor Tools. I've always thought that to be a good descriptive name. This is a box which contains needles and thread, as well as a thimble and an instruction manual. You have to purchase one of these special boxes from a Tailor expert person, but it only costs about 1 gold, which is very cheap if you think about all the benefits that will accrue.

I got my own special Tailor Tools from a nice expert Tailor man outside the Dancing Goat, in Bree. At first I thought that 1 gold was a bit pricy for a few needles and a thimble, but this nice man was able to prove, quite conclusively, that it's an excellent long-term investment. And he was so right. For only one gold you get to make your own shoes and hats! For your lifetime! That is a serious savings, right there, just in shoes and hats.


To make Tailor stuff, you need to collect hides and leather. This is a relatively complicated process so listen carefully.

Again, you first need a special tool, called a skinning knife, which you can also buy from a Tailor expert person. They cost quite a bit less than the Tailor Tools, only around 800 silver. If you buy both the Tailor Tools and the skinning knife in a job lot you will likely get a discount, depending on your reputation. Usually around 42%. For example, I only paid 2 gold 200 silver for both items, which comes out to be a discount of exactly 59%. Pretty impressive, really.

Of course, most people won't get a bargain like that. I only got it because the nice Tailor person outside the Dancing Goat had listened to some of my latest songs, and was a real fan. I signed his autograph book.

OK, now once you've got your skinning knife, you have to go out and kill stuff like trolls and bats. Stuff with hides. Once they're dead, you take your knife and skin them to get a hide. Your pack can hold quite a few hides at once, but it's best not to collect too many before you convert them to leather. Uncured hides will smell nasty. Best to keep your backpack odor free. That nasty rotting hide smell can get into other stuff, like your gig clothes or your potions, and it's very difficult to get rid of.

Now that you've got some hides, you go to a special workbench to turn your hides into leather. These workbenches can be found in most towns and camping places and are always close to running water, for sanitary reasons.

Making hides into leather

This is where things get really tricky. 

It takes 17 hides to make one piece of medium leather, but only 12 hides to make a piece of light leather. To make exceptional leather you need only 5 hides, but you also need 7 pieces of light leather and 3 pieces of medium leather.

For example, to make 3 pieces of exceptional leather you need 15 pieces of light leather (i.e., 22 hides) and 9 pieces of medium leather (i.e., 24 hides) and an additional 5 hides because it's exceptional. 

This is a total of 78 hides for one piece of exceptional leather. So you can see Tailors need to kill a lot of trolls and bats.

Making leather into stuff

Finally, you take this leather you just made, and turn it into stuff like hats and shoes. It's a very straightforward process, and there's really only one thing to watch out for here. If you use some sort of thread to make the hat it turns into what's called a "medium hat" which lots of people can't wear, even if they look very good in it. But if you use a piece of cloth you get what's called a "light hat" which minstrels like me can wear.

If you use both cloth and thread you get a "heavy hat" which is a sort of combination of light and medium hats.

The same principle applies to making shoes.

Also, I've heard that there are special ingredients you can use to make "special medium hats" or "special light hats". These special ingredients are things like brimstone and raspberries and other stuff you can collect while out killing trolls and bats. I've never managed to get this special thing to work, though, so I suspect it might not be real, just a rumour.


Tailoring is a useful and profitable crafting profession. Don't worry about messing up your first tries. We all mess up at first. Well, except me, of course, but then not everybody can be like me.

So, if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. When you are walking around in some lovely hat and shoes that you made yourself, it will all be worthwhile.

Take pride in your appearance. Be a Tailor.


  1. Which game is this guide for?

  2. Dear Aegthil, I think you should stick to tuning your harp and just let your fool write up your guides. Making plate armour with needle and thread? Conjuring exceptional leather out of light leather? Using a skinning knife? Tailoring is obviously not your vocation...

  3. Oh and by the way, as a Minstrel you can wear your "medium hat". You just need to see the Bard at the Jumping Cat and have him fix your traits.

  4. Really? Are you sure?

    Oh dear. My Fool is laughing at me. I shall have to do more work on my skirmish guides.

  5. I thought I would start with a guide to Tailoring, as this is a crafting profession that is often misunderstood.

    This made me laugh xD Please stick to what you know :P